VIDEO | Carrera Cup takes over Phillip Island for Pro-Am

2015 Porsche Carrera Cup | Pro-Am Phillip Island

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

The Australian Porsche Carrera Cup joined up with the Shannons Nationals for their annual Pro-Am event at Phillip Island. The Pro-Am format would feature two 36 lap races that would form the third round of the Carrera Cup championship for 2015.

Drivers fighting it out in the Professional championship were required to pick less experienced co-driver, with the majority coming from the second tier Porsche Cup.

The Elite championship drivers had the luxury of picking professional drivers to pair up with, with V8 Supercars Tim Slade, Nick Percat and Scott McLaughlin making an appearance for the weekend.

Saturday’s action saw two qualifying sessions, one for each driver, before Race 1. The finishing order for Race 1 would determine the grid for Race 2. In other twist, the rules dictated that each driver must start one race, to prevent the professional drivers doing the majority of the driving.

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Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Qualifying

With the grid to be determined by times combined from both sessions, each driver had 15 minutes in their own qualifying session to bank a solid lap.

The first qualifying session was held first thing Saturday morning although better conditions were expected for the second afternoon session so most teams elected to send the amateur driver out for the first run.

Jon Goodacre made the most of his opportunity in Cameron McConville’s OPS Gateway Porsche setting the fastest time of the morning session.

While series regular Shane Smollen (McGrath Estate Agents) used his experience to bank a solid lap for second fastest. Geoff Emery at the wheel of Shae Davis Davbridge Constructions Porsche locked in the third fastest time.

Knowing roughly the times they’d need to beat, the professional drivers took the track to set their best times.

Series regular Matt Campbell (Phase 8) proved fastest banking the best time of the session while V8 Supercars young chargers showed their worth taking out the next three fastest times.

With Tim Slade at the wheel of Adrian Mastronardo’s Veritas Porsche, he was second fastest behind Nick Percat (Shane Smollen (McGrath Estate Agents) in third with Scott McLaughlin in Stephen Grove’s GT3 in fourth.

The solid lap times by both Percat and Smollen were enough for them to claim Pole Position for the first race.

Race 1

The McGrath Estate Agents crew elected to try and make the most of their pole position by putting Nick Percat in the car for the start of the race, but they weren’t alone. Grove Racing threw Scott McLaughlin into their car to start of the race.

Percat and McLaughlin would launch off the start line and into an early lead with great racing between the two and Jon Goodacre in the opening stages. They’d swap the lead a number of times before having to pit for their compulsory pit stop.

Percat pitted on lap 21 handing the lead to team mate Shane Smollen with McLaughlin pitting on the same lap, handing over to team mate Grove to continue the battle and finish the race.

Swollen took advantage of the lead built by Percat to claim the win over Grove. While McConville (partnered with Jon Goodacre) held on to third from a fast charging Nick McBride in the closing laps.

Percat described the battle with McLaughlin as “very enjoyable”, continuing with “That was an awesome result, especially for Shane and the McElrea team”

Race 2

The second Carrera Cup race of the weekend at Phillip Island would be greeted with slightly warmer conditions.

Backing up from the previous day’s solid result, Smollen would start the race from pole in McGrath Estate Agents Porsche, with Percat having to wait till the second part of the race to make any impact in the result.

However the amateur drivers starting near the front were swamped by the experience of the professional drivers who had elected not to start Saturday’s race.

Slade driving Adrian Mastronardo’s Veritas Porsche launched through the field into an early lead with Nick Foster (Bob Jane T-Marts) not far behind.

As per the first race, lap 21 would be the key lap for pit stops for the professional drivers. Slade handed the driving duties over to Mastronardo, while Foster enlisted the help of Dylan Thomas for the final stint.

Meanwhile back down the order, Smollen handed driving duties to Percat charged through the field from tenth.

Thomas made the most of his opportunity sneaking past Mastronardo on lap 29 but it wasn’t long before Percat’s pace had him in second place, pushing Thomas for the lead.

Thomas held station taking the win for Foster in the Bob Jane T-Marts Porsche over the McGrath Estate Agents Porsche of Percat and Smollen. Richard Muscat and Sam Walter passed Mastronardo on the final lap to take the final place on the podium.

With two podium results for the weekend Percat and Smollen also to out the Pro-Am title for 2015.

Race 1 Results

1. S.Smollen/N.Percat (McGrath Estate Agents) 57:51.8006s
2. S.Grove/S.McLaughlin (Grove Group) 57:54.6201s
3. C.McConville/J.Goodacre (OPS Gateway) 57:55.8830s
4. N.McBride/N.Muston (Bob Jane T-Marts) 58:04.2103s
5. S.Davies/G.Emery (Davbridge Constructions) 58:05.2051s
6. N.Foster/D.Thomas (Bob Jane T-Marts) 58:09.5046s
7. S.Richards/D.Grant (Laser Plumbing & Electrical) 58:10.6244s
8. R.Lago/S.Owen (JBS Australia) 58:10.8808s
9. C.Baird/M.Twigg (Porsche Centre Melbourne) 58:20.1614s
10. A.Mastronadro/T.Slade (Veritas / Builtform) 58:24.5664s
11. M.Almond/J.Karytinos (Copyworld Toshiba) 58:29.7149s
12. R.Muscat/S.Walter (Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis) 58:30.3416s
13. A.Samadi/D.Fiore (Apartment Hotel) 58:39.9708s
14. T.Bates/D.Gaunt (AFS/Top Cat) 59:00.0794s
15. F.Ross/D.Ryan (Porsche Centre Brighton) 57:52.1113s
16. D.Padayachee/I.Padayach (VIP Petfoods) 58:11.2280s
17. S.Hodge/R.Angus (Team BRM) 58:47.2176s
18. M.Cini/C.Mies (Hallmarc) 58:28.7132s
DNF S.Taylor/D.Canto (Scott Taylor Motorsport) 54:40.3717s
DNF M.Campbell/T.Miles (Phase 8) 49:29.2384s
DNF J.Koundouris/D.Russell (Finanze Ezi) 12:36.3319s
DNF J.Bergmuller/A.Davison (MotorOne Car Care)

Race 2 Results

1. N.Foster/D.Thomas (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:41.1604s
2. S.Smollen/N.Percat (McGrath Estate Agents) 57:46.4890s
3. R.Muscat/S.Walter (Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis) 57:54.2444s
4. A.Mastronadro/T.Slade (Veritas / Builtform) 57:54.8658s
5. N.McBride/N.Muston (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:56.5485s
6. S.Grove/S.McLaughlin (Grove Group) 58:02.3224s
7. C.Baird/M.Twigg (Porsche Centre Melbourne) 58:03.6736s
8. S.Davies/G.Emery (Davbridge Constructions) 58:14.4074s
9. R.Lago/S.Owen (JBS Australia) 58:20.1691s
10. J.Bergmuller/A.Davison (MotorOne Car Care) 58:20.8398s
11. S.Richards/D.Grant (Laser Plumbing & Electrical) 58:22.8516s
12. M.Campbell/T.Miles (Phase 8) 58:23.8194s
13. S.Taylor/D.Canto (Scott Taylor Motorsport) 58:48.9511s
14. A.Samadi/D.Fiore (Apartment Hotel) 58:52.6285s
15. M.Cini/C.Mies (Hallmarc) 58:53.5822s
16. D.Russell/J.Koundouris (Finanze Ezi) 59:09.5219s
17. D.Padayachee/I.Padayachee (VIP Petfoods) 58:36.8104s
18. S.Hodge/R.Angus (Team BRM) 59:04.8768s
19. T.Bates/D.Gaunt (AFS/Top Cat) 58:15.8335s
DNF John Goodacre (OPS Gateway)
DNF Michael Almond (Copyworld Toshiba)
DNF Fraser Ross (Porsche Centre Brighton)

The Australian Porsche Carrera Cup championship continues from 10th – 12th July with the V8 Supercars in Townsville.

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For details on the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, click > www.carreracup.com.au

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